Bloomington, IN (U-WIRE) -- The Sunshine State continues to smile on football coach Terry Hoeppner and his coaching staff as running back Demetrius McCray is the latest to join the cream and crimson for 2005.
McCray, a Seffner, Fla., native, marks the fourth commitment from Florida for the Hoosiers thus far.
The six-foot 180-pound running back starred at Armwood High School, leading his team to class 4A back-to-back state championships. In Armwood's most recent state championship, a 49-21 win against Gibson High School, McCray rushed for 40 yards and caught two touchdown passes.
Though his championship game statistics don't show it, McCray was a menace on the field, rushing for 1,642 yards on the season, averaging 11.6 yards per carry and 23 touchdowns.
McCray was part of backfield group that had three 1,500-yard rushers, all of which will be signing football scholarships Thursday.
Despite being surrounded other talented players, McCray was the best, said Armwood coach Sean Callahan.
"(McCray) is physically elusive and very strong -- he benches 320 pounds and runs a low 4.5 (second 40-yard time)," Callahan said. "If we had to pick one guy, we would pick Demetrius."
Even with the gaudy numbers and the state championships, McCray has remained humble. Despite being named by The Tampa Tribune as one of the top 50 recruits in the Sunshine state and first team All-State, it still left the coaching staff upset about the amount of recruiting attention McCray received, Callahan said.
"We feel like (McCray) was under recruited. We believed he was the best back in the state of Florida and we were all miffed about that," Callahan said. "Whenever (McCray) broke it for a long run, no one ever caught it."
According to the Web site www.rivals.com, McCray is a three-star recruit, the 37th ranked running back in the country and the highest ranked of 22 verbal commitments Indiana University has received.
McCray made his official visit to IU this past weekend before making his commitment to the Hoosiers. Among the schools McCray was considering included the University of New Mexico and the University of South Florida.
"(McCray) had a great experience (on the visit), he was No. 1 on everyone's board that recruited him. Before he left I thought he was going to New Mexico," Callahan said. "I think IU did good job in recruiting and now they got a good ball player."
National Signing Day is Thursday, and the football program will hold an announcement at 4 p.m. at the Hoosier Room in Memorial Stadium where the signings will be announced.
(C) 2004 Indiana Daily Student via U-WIRE